The housing market is getting tougher. This is bad news for a lot of people hoping to buy their first home. They might just have to wait for longer. If you have property you’re not using, however, it can be great for you. Now is a better time than ever for people to rent out accommodation. Which means real potential income for you. So, how do you make sure you’re ready to start taking on tenants?
Becoming a landlord isn’t as simple as taking cash for getting people in your property. You have a lot of responsibilities to take care of before you let anyone in. From safety issues like gas and electricity to deposit schemes and rent agreements. Getting legal advice on your side is an extra cost, but it’s one that can protect you from a lot of hassle down the line.
Changes the property will need
For a more profitable rental home, you might be keen to make some changes. For instance, spare rooms can very easily be made into bedrooms with a bit of work. Similarly, you can install a second bathroom or give one a much-needed renovation. You don’t even have to put a lot of work in, yourself. You can just as easily use options like pre-made PRS bathroom pods. One mistake you should avoid above all else is trying to get tenants in before those changes are made. Too many landlords get overeager and end up scaring tenants away when work isn’t completed quick enough.
Dealing with tenants
How you actually deal with those tenants is a matter of opinion. Some people like to get in there and make sure everything is alright at every chance. Better landlords handle things from a distance. They assume everything is alright until the tenants say so. They certainly don’t collect rent by hand. You don’t know whether a tenant might be stressed, angry or desperate. It’s not a good idea to show up demanding cash. That’s not to assume that tenants are going to cause problems, but it’s prudent to expect it at some point.
Protecting your investment
Keeping your distance doesn’t mean turning a blind eye, of course. If you’re concerned about damage to your property, make sure the contract covers it financially. Many will disallow pets (or even certain kinds like cats) to make sure too much damage isn’t done. To make sure that the very worst kind of damage doesn’t happen, it’s best to be thorough in your choices. Reference agencies like TenantVerify can help you select those who are most likely to treat your property with respect. Otherwise, it can be hard to chase tenants down who don’t want to pay for repairs and the like.
The landlord needs to be a presence, but not ever present. You’re there to improve and protect your investment, not to get into the daily lives of your tenants. What’s most important is making sure you’re always the one on the right side of the law. It can get tricky, so don’t try operate any deals outside it.